Friday, June 06, 2008

More on Mom

This is the obituary announcement we put in the local papers:

Elizabeth Van Tine O’Brien
January 19, 1911- May 23, 2008

Second of five children of John Raub Van Tine and Elizabeth Hardy Kynett, born in Lansdowne, PA (Philadelphia), Elizabeth, also called Betty, came to Lodi, CA from New Jersey with her husband, James T. O’Brien and children in 1959.

A strong advocate for women’s rights, in 1958 Betty was the first woman elected to school board of Evesham Township, NJ, on a write-in vote. She and Jim traveled widely in connection with his work with Lions Club Int’l. An accomplished seamstress and knitter, she worked at The Fabric Store in Lodi for years. Longtime member of Lodi’s First United Methodist Church, Daughters of the American Revolution, Pi Beta Phi, Daughters of Founders and Patriots, and Dickinson College Alumni.

Predeceased by siblings Karldon K. Van Tine; John Raub Van Tine, Jr.; and Catherine B. Styles; husband Jim O’Brien and stepson James T. O’Brien, Jr. Survived by sister Eleanor V. Slim, Doylestown, PA; daughter Aline O’Brien and Corby Lawton, San Rafael; daughter Catherine O’Brien and Anthony Montanino, Palo Alto; grandchildren James T. O’Brien, III, Idaho; Rainbow Aline and Vincent Porthé, Chicago; Deirdre Blessing Wolfer, San Rafael; and Alexandra Amelia Foster, San Diego; great-grandchild Brandon O’Brien; and many other friends and relations.

Friends are invited to a memorial at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 31, 2008, at First United Methodist Church, 200 W. Oak St., Lodi. Donations in her memory may be made to Hospice of San Joaquin County.

My, how the Internet has changed the ways we deal with someone's passing -- or any other life transition, for that matter. This is our mother's online guest book.

I encourage everyone to check out her or his local hospice group, and to support it. The people who do hospice work are saints, as far as I'm concerned. We were so reassured about how an what our mother and we were experiencing by Mother's nurse, Edee Singer, aide Kim Martinsdiaz, and social worker Diane Medina.

Our local hospice, formerly Marin Hospice, and now combined with San Francisco and Sonoma Counties, is now called Hospice by the Bay. Not only do hospice workers help with dying, but they also offer ongoing grief counseling (including some for children and teens) as well as maintaining a comprehensive library of death and dying resources. I might add that many include The Pagan Book of Living and Dying among these resources.

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